Cancer and Cell Phones

New York Times need to learn that neurosurgeons are not cancer experts or cell phone experts:

Last week, three prominent neurosurgeons told the CNN interviewer Larry King that they did not hold cellphones next to their ears. “I think the safe practice,” said Dr. Keith Black, a surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, “is to use an earpiece so you keep the microwave antenna away from your brain.”

These are people that operate on brains.  They are not experts on things that cause cancer.  Their opinions should carry little more weight than any reasonably educated person you pull off the street, which is to say very little.   They do get this right:

Cellphones emit non-ionizing radiation, waves of energy that are too weak to break chemical bonds or to set off the DNA damage known to cause cancer. There is no known biological mechanism to explain how non-ionizing radiation might lead to cancer.

That is pretty much it, end of story.  Basically, cell phones use a weak microwave transceivers to get signals to and from a cell tower.  If microwaves cause cancer, we’re doomed, because they are all around us, all the time.  Cell phone transmit microwaves at fractions of a watt.  A typical civilian marine radar transmits microwaves at 4000 watts of power.  Yet you don’t typically hear concerns about fishermen getting cancer from the boat’s radar unit, or people living near airports getting their brains cooked by the tower’s radar dish, which is even more powerful.

Hat tip to Instapundit

4 thoughts on “Cancer and Cell Phones”

  1. I also noticed that the doctors talked about using “headsets”.

    I sure hope they aren’t using (microwave band) Bluetooth… sure, it’s low power, but it’s in your ear, and people often leave the headset there for long periods of time.

  2. Well, I believe they have to stay some distance away from those microwave radar sets, but the airport planners already figured out that requirement.

  3. Yes if you get close enough to an airport radar you will take damage. Fighter planes have to be careful when escorting AWACS planes for this very reason. If they get too close while the radar is emmitting, they will cook from the inside out.

  4. I’ve heard stories of guys stationed in Alaska at early warning systems looking for soviet ICBMs coming over the north pole stepping in front of the radar array to warm themselves up. Don’t know if it’s true or not, but the power radar units transfer at is certainly pretty high.

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